Guardian Carers Feature on Sky News

How to train to become a carer?

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If you want to become a carer, you can do so in a variety of ways. There are a few options for you, such as college courses, which will give you the necessary skills to become an elderly carer. Apart from education, an essential part of being a carer is being a kind and compassionate person. As a carer, you must genuinely want to help people and have the desire to make a change in someone else’s life. Your main duty as a carer is to help vulnerable people - in this case, elderly persons - to manage their daily activities and live their life as independently as they want. In essence, to be a carer, you need to care.

The training you need to become a carer is very diverse. If you wish to train to become a carer there are different routes you could follow. Some options are:

  • Volunteering
  • Applying to jobs directly
  • College courses
  • Apprenticeships

If you’d like to train to become a carer, a good starting point would be doing some volunteering work, specifically an organisation that supports vulnerable people. Otherwise, to become a carer you could also just apply directly to the carer job you desire and do training on the job.

Another option in your carer training would be doing a college course. A good starting point for a carer would be either a Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care or a Level 2 Diploma in Care.

So if you’d like to take the college route in your carer training, then you need to know that there are a few entry requirements you will need to meet:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1/ D to G for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grade 9 to 3 / A* TO D for a level 2 course

The other option to prepare you for your carer career is to take up an apprenticeship. You could do this through an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship or a lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeship. If you’d like to enter a carer apprenticeship you need to know what generally there are no entry requirements, but it would definitely help you if you have:

  • Some GCSEs (usually English and Maths) for an intermediate carer apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 / A* to C (usually English and Maths) for an advanced apprenticeship

Taking the higher education route is not the only choice in getting your carer training. A clever choice that you can make, even quite late in your life, in case you want to do a career change and make the move to becoming a carer, is registering for online courses. Carer training courses are a great option. Many elderly support companies offer these carer training services. Some carer trainings may include in-house carer training courses with some practical work as well or simply online carer training courses.

Either way you choose to go with your carer training path, you will definitely be able to find the training that suits you most.

Typically, online carer training courses cover subjects such as:

  • The duties and responsibilities of a carer and how to deliver them
  • Customer service
  • Personal care
  • Health and safety
  • First aid
  • Dementia care
  • Manual handling

It is important to know that if you’ve spent considerable time looking after a loved one, this time in your life also counts as experience. So you can add that to you carer training “qualifications”.

A carer needs to possess certain fundamental skills. Here are some carer must-have skills:

  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Patience
  • Organisational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Teamworker
  • Customer service

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